What fuels do we use?
Did you know solar panels account for 1.5% of the energy production in the U.S. and that fossil fuels are still the main energy production for the U.S.? In 2020, fossil fuels make up about 80% of total U.S. energy production. While renewable energy makes up about 12% of total U.S. energy production. This is quite concerning because electricity alone produces about 25% of the U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which affects air pollution and climate change. On top of air pollution, fossil fuels are also responsible for water pollution by dumping waste into water systems, hence why switching to renewable energy is beneficial to reducing our carbon footprints.
Whenever we burn fossil fuels, it creates combustion gases, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. This might sound like chemistry rambling, but many of these gases are harmful to not only the environment but to us as well. For example, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can cause respiratory diseases because the two gases can create acid rain when released into the atmosphere. This isn’t groundbreaking information, but the fact that we are still relying on fossil fuels to get electricity is quite concerning, especially when most of our greenhouse gas emissions are from burning fossil fuels.
How Solar Panels Reduce Harmful Emissions.
While renewable energy, especially solar panels aren’t entirely CO2-free, when you account for the transportation and production, but once it’s installed you don’t have to worry about producing any more air pollution. Calculations have shown that an average residential solar system per year saves a year worth of CO2 that you would produce driving for a year. Taking into consideration that transportation produces the same amount of Greenhouse Gas in the U.S. as electricity, this would be killing two birds with one stone, since you will be reducing the CO2 that would be produced by transporting fossil fuels that would end up producing power.
Conversely, there is no water pollution created from solar energy, rather there isn’t any water involved in the process unless you count possible transportation. No worries about dumping hazardous or solid waste into our water system to generate power. We can enjoy electricity coming from one source, stress-free of the environmental impact that power plants create to produce electricity. So if switching to solar energy doesn’t produce as much pollution as the leading source of electricity, why isn’t everyone switching over to renewable resources already?
Without a doubt, there are environmental concerns about solar energy, especially when it comes to the materials in solar panels. The main concern with solar panels is the toxic waste that comes from solar waste could be as equally bad as burning fossil fuels or worse. Although, with the correct procedures in place, we don’t have to worry about toxic waste because solar panels themselves can easily be reused. Over time, we will see better technologies in place for solar energy that can reduce the possible toxic waste for current solar energy.
The pandemic saw a surge of new interest in solar energy, especially solar panels, that only accounted for a 1% increase in renewable energy. Certain situations prevent many from switching to solar panels. Many have concerns about the consequences that come with installing solar panels, like materials, weather, or cost. Even lack of knowledge is a factor to why many haven’t switched to solar energy. That’s why we strive to help inform business owners, homeowners, and many more about solar energy to reduce our carbon footprint as a society and other harmful effects that burning fossil fuels bring.
Thank you for taking time to read our article. If you would like more information on obtaining Solar for your own home, business or recreational vehicles. Contact us today!